Season One, Episode Eleven: A Professional Voice Actor Talks About the Freelance Life in the Entertainment Industry (and How to Be Successful Despite the Odds) with Alessandra Levy
Alessandra Levy is a talented professional voiceover artist, actor, musician, and music producer. She's recorded spots for businesses like Google, Amazon, Hasbro, HelloFresh and many more and has performed with Ben Folds and the Pittsburgh Symphony, sang for Radio City Music Hall as a Rockette, and was on My Brightest Diamond’s album “This is My Hand.”
In this episode, Alessandra talks all about freelance life and the hustle it takes to succeed in a competitive industry. She's worked every job imaginable, had to deal with health issues, and still has made a successful niche for herself. We talk a lot about how being a freelancer IS running a business. Our conversation includes gems of knowledge for any creative or freelancer, not just for entertainers.
00:03:20: What is Alessandra's job and where does she work?
00:06:12: What was it like quitting a steady full time job to be a full time musician and voice actor? What has her career trajectory looked like to this point? (Hint: everything from doing in-store demos at Costco to singing for the Rockettes to background extra work in film and tv shows).
00:29:00: Did she go to school for what she's doing now?
00:38:05: What is freelance performer/musician life like - how do you find jobs? Through an agent? Through Craigslist?
00:41:00: Unions - how do you get in a union and get that sweet, sweet union pay and healthcare?
00:44:38: How does a voice artist audition - in person, or online?
00:54:00: What's the coolest/most exciting job she's ever worked on? Is she ever asked to sound like someone else - a famous actor, for example?
01:05:28: Setting rates - how does she know what to charge? How has her pricing and her money mindset changed since her business has grown?
01:12:00: Does she create her own characters, or is she told what the client wants?
01:18:00: How do she and her husband (also a self-employed person) get health insurance with no 9-5 job? What does a voice actor do when they have a sore throat?
01:29:00: Our back to the future segment - what advice would Alessandra give her younger self?
01:44:22: Our day in the life segment - what does a day-to-day look like for a voice actor and musician?
02:00:00: Listener Questions: how do you get started in the industry if you have no experience?
02:10:00: Quick Answer - Alessandra's favorite books, TV shows, and movies.